My Aunty Caroline

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Today I am posting the eulogy that my niece, Shauna did at our aunt’s funeral yesterday. Shauna did an amazing job at capturing how we all felt about Aunty Caroline. She truly was an amazing person, who had many heart ships in her life but always dealt with them with determination and a positive attitude. Very few people in my life greeted me the way that she did; with a big welcoming hug and a happy smile. She was always interested in what my family was doing; always asked “how is John.” Her husband’s name was John and so the first time she met John she said, “that’s a good name.”

She was loved by everyone at the nursing home and one of her attendants even came to the funeral. Turns out, he knew her very well and had heard of all of us in the family. He knew our stories. I shouldn’t have been surprised but I was. This was the impact that Aunty Caroline had on people. She related well to everyone and also asked how they were.

She was a constant in my life from the time I was 8 and I will miss her so much.

Here is Shauna’s eulogy:

They say “every picture has a story to tell”. As we spent time looking through countless pictures and albums this week, Auntie Carol had many stories to share with us.

Her pictures told us the story of a beautiful, vibrant, young woman with a smile that could light up a room. Born in Croatia in 1934 we imagine a childhood surrounded by family and her 3 siblings; a quiet, shy young girl from simple beginnings. Caroline met John at a dance when she was 16. They hit it off from the start,  and moved to Germany after they were married, later relocating to Winnipeg in 1956. 

Her pictures told us the story of a life devoted to a man she loved. John and Caroline were inseparable. They did everything as a couple; even working together for a time at Mohr’s Quilting for a number of years before Caroline had to quit due to asthma.  

Her pictures told us a story of a woman who loved to garden and spend time in the yard. John and Carol’s yard was their pride and joy. An abundant garden of beautiful flowers and fresh veggies, fruit trees, grapes on the vine and green green grass. Their yard was always the envy of the neighborhood.

Her pictures told us the story of times spent with countless friends, family and loved ones. Entertaining was what John and Caroline loved best. Uncle John would be barbequing the meat in the backyard with his apron on while Auntie Carol took care of the stuff inside.. Fresh vegetables from the garden, salad and potatoes and of course her amazing strudel for dessert. Noone made strudel like she did. 

Her pictures told us the story of a dog named Balki who was doted on and treated like a prince. Balki enriched their lives for over 15 years and he was the center of their world. He was their devoted companion and the ultimate “furbaby” before fur babies were even a thing.

Her pictures …..gave us small windows into the many lives that she touched. The images of family from near and far. Faces of siblings, cousins, and countless, countless nieces and nephews. 

There were the faces of neighbours. Whether they be from Weinberg Road or Amber Meadows, Auntie Carol was always someone people wanted to be around. Her gentle nature, her warm smile, and her kind soul drew people in.

And the faces of  friends from her church, Emmanuel Lutheran where she and John were devoted members of the congregation for numerous years. Her faith was always a huge part of her life.

Over the little while we have missed Auntie Carol at family dinners and special occasions. Sarah’s graduation, Nate’s 16th birthday, Ron’s Liver Transplant Anniversary, and Christmas dinner at John & Chris’ have not been quite the same without Auntie Carol’s presence. Navigating through lockdowns, and the regulations of personal care homes have made spending time with her a challenge. It makes me sad to think of her being so isolated over the last couple of years, knowing how much she has always enjoyed socializing with others. 

So for that reason, it is one picture that has stuck with me most this week. It is one that was always mounted for as long as I can recall. I remember seeing it as a child on the wall in the spare room in their home, seeing it in the apartment on Leila and in her suite at Fred Douglas. It is the poem “Footprints” and I am sure many of you are familiar with it. 

The significance of this keepsake reminds me of the deep faith Auntie Carol has always carried with her and it comforts me to know that she was never truly alone. We can all find solace in a new picture…… a picture of Caroline being reunited with her life long partner, John, her beloved dog Balki, all safely in the care of our Lord. 

Auntie Carol, we love you. We will miss you, the grace of your presence and that wonderful smile.

Love these Dogs! (Winnipeg Dog Photography)

I met this fun 10 month old puppy yesterday. It was challenging to contain her energy and pose her but look at these amazing images!

Winnipeg Dog Photo Studios
Shake a Paw!
Winnipeg Dog Photographers

Puppy Love! (Winnipeg Pet Photographers(

I fell in love with this puppy yesterday and I guarantee that you would too! This is 5 month old Hallie, who found her forever home on Halloween. Hallie was shy at first but she settled down beautifully.

Have a look at this wonderful puppy!

Beautiful Puppy Photography
Puppy Love!
Winnipeg Dog Photographers
Love this expression!

Two Delightful Doggies! (Winnipeg Dog Photographers)

Yesterday I photographed the first dogs for my Spirit of Hope Rescue fundraiser and I couldn’t have had better models. Meet Caddy and Yuki, who are a breed called Keeshond. I hadn’t ever heard of this breed so I looked them up and found this: “The Keeshond is an old dog breed, once a companion and watchdog on the barges and boats that traveled the canals and rivers of Holland in the 17th and 18th centuries.”

These 2 were perfect dog models and listened really well to their owner’s commands. It was a lot of fun to work with them.

Have a look at Caddy and Yuki.

Winnipeg Dog Photographers

Spirit of Hope Fundraiser (Winnipeg Dog Photography)

I am once again raising money for Spirit of Hope Rescue ( by doing photo sessions with your fur babies. The poster below shows the Christmas backdrop that I am planning to use for these sessions but I also want to do some more generic pictures with a plain backdrop. The Christmas backdrop would be perfect for your Christmas cards (for example) and the other one would be a great memory picture that would be appropriate all year round.

Spirit of Hope is an amazing group of dedicated people who rescue dogs from more than 38 Indigenous communities in Manitoba. They have rescued more than 3500 dogs in the last 9 years. We have 2 of those dogs and are very grateful to this organization. Help me to help support them but bringing your pooch for this Christmas Dog Portrait session.

This is my new dog Otis in a formal posed picture. Isn’t he beautiful!

Happiness is living with dogs!

My husband and I love living with dogs and we share the sentiments in this poem by Ogden Nash.

The Dog

by Ogden Nash

The truth I do not stretch or shove
When I state that the dog is full of love.
I’ve also found, by actual test,
A wet dog is the lovingest.

There isn’t anything that speaks to my soul the way that walking with my dogs on the beach or in the woods does. Being outdoors while walking our dogs give me a sense of calm and peace that I never feel anywhere else. I love watching our happy dogs sniffing the ground and wagging their tails. That kind of happiness is contagious. It makes me forget the troubles in the world because of joy in being in their presence.

We are lucky to have 4 dogs this week, as we are looking after my step daughter’s dog, Kassidy. All of our dogs are rescues. We know that there are many dogs out there that need homes and we prefer to adopt those dogs.

Here are our beasts:

Kassidy is the youngest of the pack at only 10 months. Kassidy thrives on being petted and hugged. She loves to run and play and never seems to get tired. She is the most affection of the pack and will cuddle up to us while sleeping or watching tv.

This is Kassidy in the field by our house.

I adopted Zara 7 years ago from Spirit of Hope Dog Rescue (where we also got Kassidy). Zara is the leader of the pack at our house. She controls the other dogs but all is well at our house as long as none of the other dogs challenge her. Zara will control them with barks, growls and baring her teeth. Her short little legs mean that she can’t keep up with her younger, faster siblings, but they know that she has is the growl of authority.

Zara has the ball and Otis is wondering if she will let him have it. “Is it worth the effort to get it from her?” Otis wonders.

Otis is 22 months old and is our newest dog. He was originally a street dog in the Bahamas and was rescued by a group that took him, along with 75 other dogs, to Toronto. From there, he was adopted by a couple in Winnipeg and had a lovely home until health issues forced the couple to give him up. Otis is very shy and slow to make friends but once he is your friend, you have a friend for life. Otis is loving our home as he has so much room to wander and sniff. He also loves the beach and playing with other dogs!

Otis walking proudly in our yard.

Maddie, at 14 is the elder of the pack and has slowed down a lot. You won’t see her in the running or walking pictures as she doesn’t join us on walks. She has had many health issue; one of which meant she had to lose an eye. She continues to have mobility issue but she does the best she can.

Maddie at the top of the stairs going to the beach. Maddie used to love going to the beach.
It’s sad when a dog gets old.

Here are some of the pictures I have taken of our dog pack.

There must be so many smells on a forest trail.

The dogs had so much fun on the beach last night when 3 other dogs showed up. Have a look!

Just Me and My Baby Brother!

I did a session with these 2 beautiful boys yesterday. Baby J was just 2.5 weeks old and his big brother is almost 3. The last time I saw this big brother was when he was just a tiny baby himself.

I had a great time photographing them. Here’s a sneak peek!

LOVE these Dogs! (Winnipeg Dog Photographers)

I love dogs so it was a lot of fun to photograph the new puppy in our family, as well as, her sister, 12 year old Annie. These are my son’s family dogs in Calgary. Chili Bean, the puppy is a 6 months old goden doodle and is full of energy. Annie is 12 and although she has slowed down, she still likes walks and is very affectionate.

I love these dogs!

Good Looking Family of Four! (Winnipeg Family Photographers)

It had been six years since I last saw this family of four. We did this session in our yard and also used the railway tracks. The light was harsh on the tracks but we did manage to get some great images. I enjoyed photographing them again.

This was the kids 6 years ago:

This is them now:

Good looking family!